Publisher: Little Brown
Release Date: October 10, 2011
Source of my copy: publisher
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
As a dancer with the ultra-prestigious Manhattan Ballet Company, nineteen-year-old Hannah Ward juggles intense rehearsals, dazzling performances and complicated backstage relationships. Up until now, Hannah has happily devoted her entire life to ballet. But when she meets a handsome musician named Jacob, Hannah's universe begins to change, and she must decide if she wants to compete against the other "bunheads" in the company for a star soloist spot or strike out on her own in the real world. Does she dare give up the gilded confines of the ballet for the freedoms of everyday life?
When I first began to read Bunheads, I was struck by how intense the life of the performing arts is. Hannah's world was full of competition and a severe routine that it both amazed me and impressed me. In the short biography of the author on the jacket of the book, it said that Sophie Flack was also a ballet dancer so what Hannah went through she did and her experiences made Hannah's world all the more authentic. The story was fascinating and I was always eager to see what will happen next.
But while I liked the story and enjoyed the glimpse it afforded me of what life is like dancing in the ballet professionally, I couldn't quite connect with Hannah's character. I felt like I didn't really got to know her in the end and her character felt a little flat for me for that reason. I did appreciate that she's not perfect and had her faults too. As for the other characters, I could see them as real people in my life and I had no problem understanding their motives and morals.
Overall, Bunheads was a really great book that was an inside look into the fascinating world of the ballet. I like the easy, understandable prose (although some of the dance terms flew over my head) and the characters each had their own personality. This novel was Ms. Flack's debut and I think she can only get better and I am looking forward to more books by her in the future. If you're in the mood for a "dance" story that is more on the reflective side, you'll enjoy Bunheads.